Tuesday, August 15. 2006
A frank, open letter to his clergy, the Archbishop of Chicago speaks out. Feel free to do the same. Please sign your posts.
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What a relief to know that at least one of our bishops shares the same outrage and shame that most of those posting to this site feel about the state of the OCA! One can only add that His Eminence deserves our prayers and support for his well being and courage to speak the truth. The truly evil and contemptible effort to silence and remove him from office should not go unpunished nor be forgotten by the thousands of Faithful who have been so ill used and abused by this hideous rape of our Church.
#1 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2006-08-15 10:23
Archbishop JOB's letter and sermon brought tears to my eyes. Here is a hierarch full of repentance and with a strong desire to see our dear mother Church restored to her proper level of spirituality and service to GOD. He speaks from the heart and thus has moved my heart.
May our prayers be with Archbishop JOB, our Priests and the Faithful of the Diocese of the Midwest and all of North America. We must unite behind the vision and clarity of focus that Archbishop JOB has shared with us. I now can see some hope and light at the end of the tunnel although the journey will still be difficult and painful.
Christ is in our Midst,
St. Nicholas Orthodox Church
#2 Barry A. Sabol on 2006-08-15 11:19
To our most beloved and most courageous Shepherd, Archbishop JOB…thank you! You are and will continue to be in our prayers that Christ our God will continue to grant you the strength and courage to fight the good fight for the glory of His Holy Church…and especially for the Orthodox Church in America which so many good priests and laypeople have worked so hard to build up and sustain to the Glory of God the Father! Although I have no real useful experience in finance or law, I will stand behind you in prayer and anything else that I can do to support you as you will likely face many adversities in the coming days.
May our Holy and Glorious Mother of God, the Theotokos, whose Dormition we celebrate today, keep you and all of us under her protection! Amen!!
With Love in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
(Parishioner of Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church, Palatine, IL)
#3 Helen O'Sullivan on 2006-08-15 11:44
His Eminence's final question, "Can we really expect that God will bless anything that we do?" is the key question for the future of the Orthodox Church in America. Like any prophetic word this question sounds a note of both promise and threat.
The Metropolitan and the Holy Synod have two paths before them: one of future blessing and one of further degradation to the mission and ministry we share together in North America.
What our Lord says is most certainly true: "Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops." (Luke 12:2-3) Moreover He adds this stern warning: "I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear him!" (Luke 12:4-5)
Honesty, integrity, openness and clarity regarding the allegations and the subsequent investigations' results should not be treated lightly by the Metropolitan and the Holy Synod; neither should they be discarded in favor of some public relations gimmick or clever legal maneuvers. Honesty, integrity, openness and clarity are not optional; they are Gospel imperatives from Christ Himself!
It should be our fervent prayer as members of the Orthodox Church in America that the Metropolitan and the Holy Synod will quickly choose the path "worthy of a blessing" so that in due time, we may be healed and restored and prosper in the work that God has called us all to do.
A "free man" of the Midwest.
#4 Fr. Robert K. McMeekin on 2006-08-15 11:53
To Archbishop Job:
Thank you for showing us that Christ is truly in our midst.
Psalm 1 says:
"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly..., He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in due season, whose leaf also shall not wither and whatever he does shall prosper....For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish."
With prayers for *endurance unto the joy set before you*,
#5 Karen Jermyn on 2006-08-15 13:46
Thank you, Vladika Job. You are always in my prayers and I count on you to fight the good fight. There is a very powerful film about priests in WW2, sent to Dachau. The Ninth Day is based on the truth, and shows that the Nazis actually crucified priests. The main character is being offered a deal by an SS man. The bishop rejects the deal, then the priest must struggle on his own. Truth is costly. Even here. Even without Nazis. Always your friend and servant in Christ, Alice Carter
Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral, Boston, MA.
#6 Alice Carter on 2006-08-15 14:02
Your Eminence, Archbishop JOB,
AXIOS! AXIOS! AXIOS!
Your servant in Christ,
Priest Christopher Wojcik
#7 Priest Christopher Wojcik on 2006-08-15 14:02
Amen! Amen! Amen!
Your post expresses my thoughts exactly.
Fr. Bartholomew Wojcik
We should be thankful for folks like Archbishop Job and Bishop Tikhon (Yes, though we did not see eye to eye, he was keeping the faithful dialed in, and that deserves respect) in these difficult times for the OCA.
It seems to me that +JOB is trying to help heal, but also keeping his 'posse' tightly aligned, should they need to scoot out of Dodge! Keeping his churches behind him and keeping them informed, certainly is commendable. Could I see them defecting to affiliate with another "Mother Church", maybe...but the family that plays together, stays together.
Kudos to both +JOB and +TIKHON for your keeping the truth flowing and the pressure evenly applied.
#8 Bob H. on 2006-08-15 15:15
It is time for us to call the question - of everyone.
As for me;
Not one more dime to New York until a working All American Council can put this truly and functionally aright.
That will be my resolution to the October Diocesan Assembly.
A free man,
and a priest so far,
#9 Priest John A. Peck on 2006-08-15 15:16
I am again so humbled to have Archbishop Job as my pastor, friend, and hierarch. I have served as clergy in the diocese of the Midwest for near seven years. He has been ever thoughtful to me and my family. He is truly a Father to me. I am also proud of him in that he has (quite contrary to his nature) spoken so strongly on this matter. Unlike any other heirarch has deigned to demonstrate some manhood (by actually speaking to His people publicly) tempered by sanity (not every Bishop can in this matter be labeled sane). This is true-leadership which is what we need in resolving this destructive matter before the church.
Sadly, many Bishops of the OCA seem passive in their conforming to whatever the Metropolitan is offering as leadership.
Before the last AAC not a few of the Clergy of the Diocese of the Midwest began discussing the lack of financial transparency of the central Church. The clergy met with Bishop Job and there seemed to be unanimity about the need to hold Syosset to better and higher standards of accountability. We agreed as Clergy to say no to the budget presented to the ACC, until the details of the budget, especially the spending side were better explained. This was to be short-lived. As the AAC approached several senior and key leaders of the presbytery began to buckle. By the time Fr. Bob showed up at the meeting of the Midwest Diocese held during the ACC, fear had gripped many of our pastors and they became passive and expressed little of the previous disdain for the status quo. Fr. Bob's appearance had done it's job.
As we ready for the Annual Diocesan Assembly in the Midwest there will be a need for several resolutions to actually deal with this matter. We have a Metropolitan who on His watch took money from Widows and orphans and choose to travel with it instead. This could be theft or at best a demonstration that His priorities are just screwed up. Herman has taken Metropolitan council duties and responsibilities to Himself and has autocratically cancelled the next ACC. The Diocese of the Midwest cannot continue to enable this sick behavior and conduct unbecoming of a Christian.
At the last ACC Fr. Kondratick, Fr. Oselinsky, and Metropolitan Herman all stood before us and reported about the finances of the OCA. There was no talk of the several years of deficit spending of the central administration of the OCA. There was no transparency and very limited and controlled information given to the delegates. The discussion was even more controlled. When pastors and delegates asked questions they were ignored and on occasion declared out of order. As the vote approached those in charge were at a fever pitch. No one could enter or leave the room, the doors were maned and guarded. The Doors, the Doors, let us be attentive! This was for some at the ACC the high-point, the mysterion of the budget vote. That was sick.
Now the Met controls all the information that comes even to His fellow Bishops not to mention the Metropolitan council. The worst offense of all is that He isn't speaking with the Pastors he purports to shepherd. The clergy of the Midwest have yet to here one word about the letter(s) we addressed to Met. Herman expressing our concern for the Church. His silence is deafening, his priorities are not God's and this diocese along with a silent majority it seems are the only one thus far to say that we cannot and will not enable this disfunction anymore.
If one lives with an alcoholic one does not stop at the corner liqueur store on a daily basis and purchase the booze only to complain about the drinking later on. This is sick and codependent behavior and too many in the OCA are willing to live in codependency with a central administration that is sick.
There should not be one dollar more given to NY by our Midwest diocese until:
1. Full disclosure is made of all matters financial including all the Met. discretionary accounts.
2.The met council begins to actually function as a Met. council according to the bylaws and statutes of the OCA. if the personnel of this council cannot with one voice and with respect insist that it is the Metropolitan who is out of order (when he controls the flow of information and the agenda and does not allow discussion and offers no answers to their questions) then a new one should be elected
3.The matter of the impending loan should immediately be stopped. There is no matter financial that the Met and Syosset have been involved in that would prove prudent in giving them more. They are bad managers. Why would you give them more to mismanage? Why should the Church pay three times for Money mishandled once? No one who misspends an inheritance would go out and borrow the money from a Bank so that they could spend the lost amount wisely the next time. This is insane
4.No money should be released from Escrow by the Diocese of the Midwest until there is a real ACC that proves transparency and a functioning Met. council.
If the ACC is delayed as is now the plan all escrowed money for greater than a 12 month period may be dispersed by the Diocesan council to needs throughout the Church but bypassing Syosset completely.
We as God's people are stewards of the resources that God has given us we are not called by God to give our money when it is revealed to us by God to be used in self love. There are other choices and we can give back to God what He has first given to us without going through Syoseet.
We are free men in the Diocese of the Midwest. That must some of our hierarchs. In our freedom we will serve Christ and in our freedom we will simply find other places to give. At this point there are even jurisdictional choices for us who are free and in America.
There are students at the Sems who have it very hard and have not received financial assistance as in the past because:
1. money was diverted and
2. because trust is so eroded that our people won't give to the Sem. appeals as they have in the past for fear of it's misuse. Can't blame the people but neither can we ask the seminarian and His family to suffer for the priorities of the Metropolitan. In our freedom we can give directly to the student.
Our freedom is not a license do do what ever we want out of self-love rather it recognition that God can better serve and be served by giving to the Seminarian and His family than to Syoseet for the next trip abroad.
I hope that not a few of our pastors will incorporate into their resolutions the above criteria. Doing nothing, and saying that there is nothing we can do, is as sick as what we see going on in Syoseet. Freemen fear only that which is a lie and will die to manifest the truth. Death for us is to conform to the lie.
As as Lutheran Pastor I was a slave to something called a Denominational principal. Whatever the denomination preached, taught , or confessed we were loyal to the denomination. Now there is a Hierarchical principal that says no matter what Syosset preaches, teaches or confesses by example we will stay loyal.
Our loyalty is to Christ and the truth as He defines it. This is the only place for our loyalty. Blessed be Bishop Job who is rightly defining the Word of Truth!
St. Thomas Orthodox Church
#10 Fr. Andrew on 2006-08-15 15:28
I am humbled to be but a tiny part of the free Midwest. You certainly have my prayers, although they are unworthy. Most importantly, thank you for your prayers for us, and thank you for keeping the focus exactly where you (and all of us) should -- on salvation.
Subdeacon John Martin
Martin D. Watt, CPA (Inactive)
#11 Marty Watt on 2006-08-15 16:02
Archbishop Job's words and actions reflect the light of Christ and Truth, and show forth his great love and compassion for Christ's Holy Orthodox Church. We say in our Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified "The Light Of Christ Illumines All", this is indeed what his Grace's example has done for us. Thanks be to God that men of such character, honesty, integrity, faith and courage still exist.
Thank you Vladyka for the sacrifices and work you are doing to help us all. You are a True and Loving Shepherd who's working to defend and protect the flock and walk the narrow path of salvation. We are praying for you and our Holy Orthodox Church. Your kindness, wisdom, love, courage and sacrifice are a testament to the True Faith. Words cannot express the gratitude and appreciation we have for the work that you are doing to restore and heal our Church.
May God grant you many, many years!
Thank you for speaking Bishop Job. I, not unlike you, have become slightly impatient. As an accountant, I know how difficult it can be to sort out bad books, the shredding method of accounting is a tough one.
I have become even impatient with you. Unlike your brother hiearchs, I have no reason to dislike you, but I found your question, "Are the allegations true or false?" somewhat disturbing. Let me explain.
Bishop Tikhon, who owes you nothing less than an apology, wrote on this site, some accounting verbage from a 2002 compilation report that CLEARLY stated funds had been misappropriated for operating costs for both 2002 and 2001.
So, to hear this question from you left me confused as to your involvement. Had you not seen the 2002 and subsequent compilation reports? Did you not understand it? Was it a concern to you then? Did you expect an Andreas bailout? Was it a good line to let you skate from responsibility? Bishop Tikhon, who owes you nothing less than an apology, brought me an answer, indirectly, however, still on your [and his] behalf. He said the Synod hadn't been involved in financial matters much and that his recitation of the compilation report was more a reprint than a disclosure of what was known in 2002 by the Synod. Shortly thereafter he bowed out of the conversations here as he was getting attacked quite a bit.
It appears now, the MC wasn't involved in financial anything either.
Hopefully you can understand my impatience with you and confusion over you even asking such a question. The question, to me, is almost like saying to the bank when you get a bill for thousands of dollars in overdraft fees and bounced checks, "What do you mean I've been overdrawing for 5 years?" Is this true?
I don't know if the roles are defined well enough in governing our church. Or if necessity has them redefined for the next couple of months. The governance failed. That is sure. Add concrete to the quicksand.
I do know that sometimes if you go through hardship, you can come out stronger. I pray that can happen for the OCA.
Best practices are nowhere near being met. There doesn't seem to be any fundamental reason the OCAs 2006 budget isn't reported by now. A budget doesn't even need to be perfect. Not reporting the budget by August 15 is sad. If the attorneys don't want a budget reported, they owe us that stated in a letter.
As a layperson, I do not immediately cast blame on financial management. In fact, I understand cost well. Health insurance and fuel costs up doubled+ in five years. It bodes the question, are we rowing hard enough as laity? That is, are we giving enough?
My extreme frustration with the administration is simple. Take the budget for the year and report it to us. Rather than attacking the budget for being excessive, just get it out there.
The Synod should bring the deficit for 2006 to the people and ask us to meet it.
This is my plea to you. Rather than battles over whether the Metropolitan should travel to Texas or Frisco or Haiti or Austrailia, let's just get a budget reported and meet its deficit for 2006 with an appeal. It is too late for a budget review process at this point. I agree with Fr. Chris that some priorities have been twisted, but we are clueless to the extent.
I am asking the Synod to do the really difficult thing and bring the 2006 deficit (if there was a budget done) forward in an appeal. The MC has been too marginalized to do this it seems. Others can laugh at me if they like, but it is just flat wrong to do less. The appeal should stand until its met. The appeal could be held by individual Diocese until Syosset reported against the 2006 budget with financial statements and reported the findings of the auditors and the laity were provided a report from PR.
Please continue to communicate with us as well. Even if you hear nothing, report hearing nothing. If you never had financial reports or simply didn't understand them, tell us. Otherwise, we sit here and wonder, not only about your competance, but also about whether your own expectations are being met.
For the good of the church, please stand with the Synod, get the budget to us, and make sure we are giving enough to meet it.
Daniel E. Fall
Holy Trinity, St. Paul, MN
#13 Daniel E. Fall on 2006-08-15 17:33
As an accountant like you, I share your frustration. However, I believe firmly in rewarding progress, however small. His Eminence Archbishop JOB has communicated with his clergy, and his people. The same cannot be said in other dioceses -- in fact, quite the opposite. They have been told, in no uncertain terms, to remain silent. Pray, pay and obey.
Abp. JOB is the only member of the synod to propose to lead his diocese in a discussion of actions to take.
I agree with the concept of budgets, but I believe the entire power structure in Syosset is of dubious ecclesiology, as well as bad management structure. The Church is built around the diocesean Bishop, not the Central Church.
As Metropolitan HERMAN said, this is not a democracy. I would add, neither is it a benevolent dictatorship. The monarchialism evident from Syosset is no where found in the Ecumenical Councils, where all bishops were invited. Each Bishop, and the fellowship around him, is the fullness of the Church.
The Synod is not a board of directors. Nor are the Bishops some sort of "vice-presidents" of the Church. The Metropolitan is not a CEO, nor a COO. The Synod is a confederation of faith -- a confederation of dioceses, bound together by common faith and (hopefully) a desire to share resources in the spread of Christ's Gospel.
The only unilateral action that should be undertaken at this point is the release of information, so that we can discuss the issues.
The purpose of this and the earlier communications of Abp. JOB was to apologize to the clergy and faithful of the diocese of the Midwest for being asleep at the switch, so to speak. He has done that, publically, on two separate occasions, and countless times more in parish and clergy meetings. I don't believe it is fair to continue to chastise His Eminence -- forgiveness is in order. He is asking the synod for transparency, and we need to support him in his efforts for reform. He has asked for the ideas of his diocese, and we should prayerfully offer our ideas to him via his vehicle, the diocesean convention.
Praying for a miracle,
Sdn. John Martin
Martin D. Watt, CPA (Inactive)
#13.1 Marty Watt on 2006-08-16 14:48
A simple request to Archbishop Job....
Would you please post a current list of pastoral openings within the Diocese of the Midwest? (It seems to be the only diocese where a hierarch actually communicates with his clergy and people. How refreshing!)
#14 "Resume at hand" on 2006-08-15 18:13
God bless you Archbishop Job for your steadfast honesty, humility, and courage. You are truly an icon of Jesus Christ Himself. May your fundamental questions be answered in likeness.
#15 John D. Sheposh on 2006-08-15 19:11
Thank you, Archbishop Job! So this is what pastoral care from a hierarch looks like. Here in the West, we haven't seen much of that, except, of course, from His Grace, Bishop Benjamin, who actually visits the parishes in the diocese and whom I have never observed ranting on the Internet.
#16 Scott Walker on 2006-08-15 19:26
Dear Archbishop Job
"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!"
#17 Eugenie Osmun on 2006-08-16 00:02
While Abp Job's actions are commendable, he is merely doing his job. (The sad fact is that he stands in contrast to most of his brethren by his doing so.) But he is not the "blessed Man" of Psalm 1, which is a messianic prophecy and can rightly be ascribed to Christ only.
Next time, consult the Proverbs for a more accurate accolade should one be needed. We don't need another personality cult in the OCA and certainly, let's know the proper meaning of the Scriptures before we quote them.
#18 Jack Miller on 2006-08-16 06:03
Probably not meant as fostering a personality cult for Archbishop Job, but rather a personality cult for Christ Himself. St. Paul said in the Bible It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20). The one who demonstrates Christ in this way receives and takes no glory unto himself [cf. I no longer live], but rather glorifies Christ by receiving and taking the way of the cross.
#18.1 KAren Jermyn on 2006-08-16 06:57
Psalm 1 applies firstly to Christ and then to all who are one with Him. Our diefication is the becoming a "blessed man". It is for that reason proper to use Ps. 1 for any person that enters into the work of Christ by not walking in the council of the wicked!!
#18.2 Anonymous on 2006-08-16 08:23
Thank you Jack. These are my thoughts precisely and generally. Abp Job and the rest of the Synod are not abdicated from any responsibility simply because they are the Synod, and not another governing body. In fact, the Synod, it would seem would or should have more control over the direction of the church than any other body.
The letter from Job is not a Scarlet letter for the administration, although it seems so in many ways and by the responses of many clergy here. It forces the question, what can the Synod do to help? And what is the value of the Synod in a crisis? Surely it isn't writing a scarlet letter.
Applauding a letter that provides not one single specific solution or demand is silly and I was hard pressed to find one.
I plea for the 2006 budget disclosure on the OCA website, and I ask for someone, perhaps the Synod, to create a standing appeal for the 2006 budget deficit once the budget is reported.
All of this slamming of the administration without even one question about whether we are giving enough has me asking questions about the entire church from hierarchs to administrators to clergy to council members to laity and it simply isn't fair to put a concerned person in that position.
Scarlet letters are worthless.
Much like the priest that asked we withhold fair share until criteria are met, a budget appeal could have an attribute that it would not be sent until 2006 budgets and reporting versus budget for 2006 operating expenses discounting extraordinary items were on the OCA website.
Withholding fair share is nothing less than sinful if a deficit budget was knowingly approved. To the priest that opined this in an above comment, shame on you. For the man that is choking, would you cut off his air supply to make him breathe?
I'll look for a reported budget and a budget appeal, nothing less will satisfy me.
#18.3 Daniel E. Fall on 2006-08-16 11:01
Daniel, have you ever read the Scarlett Letter? Sheesh! It was not a letter as in a missal written to someone. It was a big red letter A that a woman was required to wear on her chest for having committed adultry. This was in the days of the Puritans. So I don't know what you meant by your reference.
Vladika Job's sermon gave me chills because I have been thinking about the same passage.
Are only the men free in the Midwest?
Wishing I was a woman in the Midwest, so i could feel some pride in my archpastor. Alas, I live in DC. And this may be why even the PASTORS in this area don't speak out.
The Final Judgment is a take home test. We are failing it folks, and it seems only those in the Midwest are trying to cram for the final.
#18.3.1 Linda Weir on 2006-08-16 12:41
I find it difficult to believe that under the current circumstances you would trust any budget posted on the OCA website and any reporting against that budget. Who in a position of responsibility in the central administration would you personally trust to provide this budget and the reporting against it and be confident that it wasn't just another smoke screen? And then to ask for an appeal on top of that?
Your constant wish for a budget and reporting against it is in my opinion so far removed from the reality of the sentiments expressed by Archbshop Job and the priests and laity of his diocese and other Orthodox Christians on this site as to be virtually irrelevant. On the one hand you castigate "Best Practices" because it won't matter unless properly applied, but on the other hand you are willing to accept a budget without this concern? This makes no sense to me at all.
Your comments regarding Archbishop Job and at least one of his priests are shameful. If you feel that Archbishop Job wrote a "scarlett letter", how would you characterize the writings of Bishop Tikhon of the West or Metropolitan Herman or Father Paul Kucynda? I have more faith in Archbishop Job than in any of these three.
I have generally found your posts edifying, but not this one. Please forgive my bluntness. Archbishop Job needs our support and prayers to confront the spiritual rot emanating from Syosset. I don't see anyone else having the courage to take a stand and do so.
Barry A. Sabol
St Nicholas Orthodox Church
#18.3.2 Barry A. Sabol on 2006-08-16 14:28
I will only respond to one aspect of your post. The matter of whether we are giving enough was spelled out by no less than three speakers at our last ACC including the Metropolitan.
We have heard nothing from Him or anyone else to suggest that they need more money by way of an appeal. You, I believe would represent a very small giving group who would donate to this appeal, to this administration, at this time knowing what we do know and not knowing so much more that we should.
#18.3.3 fr. Andrew on 2006-08-16 15:05
Quoting you, "Applauding a letter that provides not one specific solution or demand is silly..."
It reminds me of a certain disciple who had been delegated legitimately the responsibility for finances and who demanded of his master "Why was this costly ointment not sold and the money given to the poor?" when the courageous "sinful woman" with the alabaster jar of precious ointment anointed Jesus. A legitimate question from a disicple with a legitimate delegated authority, most likely appointed because of his financial astuteness, but totally one having no perception of what was really going on.
Archbishop Job, following her example has anointed his flock ( and really the whole Church which is the Body of Christ) with his courageous letter.
You have also have been gifted with financial astuteness,
but there are people who have not your gifts and who have been waiting a long time for just such a cup of cold water given in Christ's name.
Thank you, Daniel, for being so willing to use your gifts for the good of the Church.
#18.3.4 Karen Jermyn on 2006-08-17 06:56
My Dearest Vladyka Job,
It is good to hear your voice on this forum knowing the spirit of God is moving among us calling us to repentance. The sweetness of repentance and the acknowledgement of wrongs and what needs changed. Let's not wait. Let's flee the darkness for the Light. I pray God for your leadership.
Your friend always,
#19 Matushka Carol on 2006-08-16 06:57
I once again applaud Archbishop Job for his courage, open honesty, and moral integrity. He has once again brought the discussion to where it ought to be -- to the moral and spiritual dimension rather than the financial/legal dimension.
I want to say to Protodeacon Peter that I truly appreciate your efforts with Best Practices, and I think that in due time, your work will prove invaluable. Please do not lose heart. However, if many like myself are less than enthusiastic right now, it is because the discussion of Best Practices is premature. Your work will be necessary, to be sure, but until certain things are corrected, a discussion of Best Practices is moot.
If a house is on fire, one does not spend time discussing how to rebuild the house. First we put out the fire, and only then talk about rebuilding. If a person has cancer, we do not discuss his rehabilitation day after day. Only after we perform the surgery to remove the tumor do we discuss rehabilitation.
Likewise, if our Church has suffered systematic moral corruption in the highest places, we cannot go on and on about the future without first dealing with the present. First remove the cancer, then rehabilitate. First put out the fire, and then rebuild.
Archbishop Job expresses my sentiments when he says he is sick of Best Practices. It is not that we will not need them in the future. What first must happen, however, is that the moral and spiritual foundation be set right, even if, as Fr. Reeves put it, we start with just the janitor and the gardener.
Priest Christopher Wojcik
#20 Priest Christopher Wojcik on 2006-08-16 07:34
Dear Fr Christopher,
Thanks for your comments on Best Practices. I agree with you and His Eminence. I am frankly also sick of them, having worked on them in some form or another for the past nine months. I am also sick of the deafening silence about them from the Holy Synod (except His Beatitude Herman and His Grace Tikhon). I am sick about the deafening silence about them from the Metropolitan Council -- of whom I separately pleaded for their comments - with only four out of twenty five members responding.
A personal story on the role of the Episcopate - In the first year of my Diaconate 31 years ago, I had the pleasure of serving with a Primate of one of the Orthodox jurisdictions in the United States. At the dinner following the service (a small informal affair), the discussion turned to the matter of unity of the Orthodox Church on this continent. Many sage things were said about the difficulties here, and the difficulties there, the times not being ripe and so on --same old story. Being much younger but not much brasher than I am now, I said to the Archbishop: " Master, I believe that unity will never occur until the bishops all feel that the lack of unity is their own personal sin." To his credit (although all the other people in attendence figuratively went under the table), and after what seemed to be an eternity as he looked straight into my eyes, the Archbishop said to me : "Yes, deacon, you are right." And that was that. Why did I say that seemingly rude thing and why did the Archbishop respond as he did? Because he and I both knew that the Episcopate is the center of unity in the Church. They are the guardians, the protectors, the overseers of the Church. Unfortunately, they need to be reminded by us poor souls of their responsibilities to the Lord's church. And very often we fail in our own responsibilities as their spiritual children. If we were really a family in Christ, we would have no difficulty in speaking kindly and frankly to our hierarchs. I fear that in some cases ( I don't have enough information to say many or most), we either ignore them, praise them or castigate them. I do see lots of castigation on this website.
I for one have my responsibilities; they have theirs. I am glad that they are sick of Best Practices. It is up to them to ensure that, if they are truly sick of Best Practices, that they do something to ensure that they are not needed.
On the other hand, as you suggest, perhaps we should do nothing to rebuild the house until the fire is put out. However, all pastors must know that there is a continual fire burning within the souls of each of us which is worthy of repentence. "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" as Jesus said. No pastor worth his salt would ever stop speaking about the positive things that people could do -prayer, good works, virtues - at the same time that they implore the faithful to root out the evil from their souls via confession and repentence. Read the parable of the man from whom the unclean spirit has passed ( Luke 11: 24-26) and anyone will see that one needs to fill the cleansed place with something substantial of God.
That is all that I have to say -- yes I am sick of Best Practices. So where does that leave us? What do you want me to do? Put a hold on all further work? I'm happy to do that - I do have other things to do for the church. If it's "moot" and "premature", then let's stop it all and get on to other things. Let me know you want to have it started again.
In Christ, Deacon Peter
#20.1 Protodeacon Peter Danilchick on 2006-08-16 17:42
My dear Deacon Peter,
One can certainly feel your pain and frustration in this post. Be assured that even those of us who feel that you may have "the cart before the horse" strongly believe you have made a valuable contribution to helping rehabilitate our Church. You should certainly continue in this effort as you see fit.
I am, however, especially moved and impressed with your comment to the Archbishop some thirty years ago. Speaking truth to power is a noble profession certainly sanctioned and practiced by Our Lord himself. More of us, especially Orthodox Christians, need to do this, all be it with respect and charity. Our silence and acquiesence heretofore is one of the reasons this crisis is now so acute.
The instinctive Orthodox ethos is to defer to authority--especially bishops. It is time to reexamine the wisdom of this reflexive response.
#20.1.1 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2006-08-17 06:51
+Job may be sick of BEST PRACTICES, but he was a bishop for tewnty three years. He was/is part of this problem. With the choir telling the bishop how to sing he is now singing!
Saint James- Brother of the Lord
Kansas City, MO.
Don’t mistaken love for one's shepherd with a personality cult. Reading the posts from laity and clergy alike in the Midwest Diocese, I am uplifted and honored to know our former Bishop of New England is held in such high esteem. When I read his sermon, it felt like a dagger through the heart. It somehow reminded of the ordeals of St. Necktarios of Blessed Memory.
I am sure His Grace Bishop Job is the last person who wants adulation, but would rather see truth and the love of Christ prevail. His candor and honesty is refreshing.
Perhaps, the only remaining answer to the secrecy, concealment, and breach of trust is a change of leadership at the top. I see nothing but arrogance – a dictatorial display of power emanating from Syosset. Is it time for an emergency All American Council and the exercise of true conciliarity as the Church envisions?
#21 Rich on 2006-08-16 09:08
Most Reverend Master, bless!
Eis polla, eti, Despota!
Eis polla, eti, Despota!
Eis polla, eti, Despota!
With much gratitude...
Your unworthy servant,
#22 Reader Alexander Langley on 2006-08-16 09:47
Glory to Jesus Christ!
Vladyka, Thank you for not only speaking out, but for standing up for your flock--those of us who are your "little ones."
You have acted as our pastor, not as a prince bishop.
May God grant you Many, Many Years!
Your grateful servant,
Subdeacon Henry Shirley
Orthodox Mission, West Bend, WI
#23 Subdeacon Henry Shirley on 2006-08-16 10:04
You plea to whom for a release of the 2006 budget? It's in the death grip of the administration, not in the hands of the Synod nor the MC. The laity have been giving plenty to Syosset to get by. "Getting by" means you pay your bills before going on junket trips or bringing your friends to upscale steak restaurants or making sexual blackmail payments. Rather, Syosset has chosen to spend beyond its means and then some, and then diverted from widows, the sick, terror victims, and hungry children to wine-n-dine themselves and friends. They can call for more special appeals until the cows come home but hardly anybody is going to respond as long as the current crew that's mismanaged the Chancery is still there.
Fair shares should be witheld by the Diocese until the OCA statutes are obeyed, answers are provided on where millions of donations disappeared, and accountability restored. This will entail new officers and a new Metropolitan at the helm. The office has been wrecked and no one running the Chancery today will be trusted again.
Send a letter to the Metropolitan, Daniel, and ask for the 2006 budget. You're a smart guy. Think about it. It's not being released for a reason and no good one comes to a sober mind. You can direct your frustration at Archbishop Job as much as you like but he can't make the Chancery release information. We already know what they did to another Bishop in Alaska who asked too many questions.
Thank you thank you thank you Lord for giving us a wise Shepherd in the Midwest.
#24 Another Free Man in Christ on 2006-08-16 14:19
The more I read this website, the more alive I become in Christ! I have not witnessed this type of fire in the belly in the Orthodox Church heretofore. The Holy Spirit is doing a work of cleansing in our midst. In my 30 years plus of being an Orthodox Christian, I have not seen such authenic expressions of faith and commitment as I have seen coming from those in the Midwest Diocese. Folks, stick to your guns and don't move from your position. It will be the salvation of the OCA.
#25 Rich on 2006-08-16 14:54
A direct quote from Abp. Job:
A Reality of Dysfunction
As lay people, as clergy, as dioceses, as hierarchs, as Holy Synod we must deal with REALITY – OUR reality, as unpleasant or even tragic as it is. We must not “lay aside these earthly cares” at this time, but rather we must deal with them and recognize the dysfunction in our midst – a dysfunctional Synod, a dysfunctional Central Church Administration, a dysfunctional Metropolitan Council, dysfunctional dioceses and parishes, and dysfunctions in our own Diocesan Church. Only after we recognize and admit these dysfunctions can there be RESPONSIBILITY, REPENTANCE, and FORGIVENESS.
Maybe none of you read this. He isn't saying the administration is the only dysfunctional body and all of us should realize that. I agree with this in general. He did take something the Metropolitan said out of context. The Metropolitan didn't say lay aside these cares forever, he meant during Holy Week, at least that was my interpretation of it. To quote him after Holy Week and then bring it back up in August is a worthless look back.
If there is a budget deficit for 2006, why wouldn't the Synod function together and ask the clergy to appeal to the laity? Is this the administration's fault? Is this the MC's fault? I'm stumped, far from a smart guy on this one. I just heard there was a deficit budget. Not even sure if it was a deficit for the ordinary expense.
I don't care if there was a steak dinner on the budget. The truth of the matter is the greatest expense by my read would appear to be for staff. Yet you attack a restaurant bill? Abp. Job himself in his letter also said this:
"This crisis has brought the best and the worst out of people in all levels of Church life. In my opinion it has brought the best out of the faithful in the Diocese of the Midwest as witnessed by discussion, solidarity, oneness of mind and dedication. We do not need pointing fingers or blame casters. We must all assume our share of the responsibility for not being as faithful as we should and for not praying unceasingly as Paul the Apostle exhorts us to do."
Assuming our share of the responsibility to me at least means for the MC, the Synod, and the clergy to address any 2006 budget shortfall if there is indeed one. If that means telling the administration the budget is $20,000 too high for travel, fine, don't appeal for the excesses, and if the administration spends it every year, fire the Metropolitan. Has anyone contested a budget? If a budget isn't provided, depose Herman.
And for the person that didn't understand my analogy. A scarlet letter is a label the Puritans used to identify adulterers as dirty. It was a way to manifest their superiority over those that had sinned. My current reading of what many of you are saying is that you are giving full credit to the administration and not even listening to what the letter says. By doing so, you are saying the administration is dirty and it is all their fault. Thus you are making it into a Scarlet letter. If Job does nothing, demands nothing, but simply writes a lot of letters mostly demeaning the administration, provides no solutions, no help, then I consider the letters useless labels and Scarlet letters.
In two places I have quoted the Sermon/letter and in both of those places, Abp. Job places the responsibility on all of us, not just the administration. What if the moral decay is our own for believing people should lose their jobs in Syosset?
I am not applauding the letter and never will. As for me asking for a budget for 2006, this is a silly statement I won't address. I will applaud action, nothing less, and that even means from Abp. Job. The responsibility I will accept is asking and demanding for the budget and reporting against it.
And Barry, if a budget is reported, and and audit follows sometime in 2007, say April, the audit will be the validation of interim reporting. And I did not castigate Best Practices. I identified its weaknesses and things it did not address, like the relationship between governing bodies, and I thought it was already in place, but not being met. It is clearly not in place and Dn. Peter said as much.
Parts of it can be in place, not sure why they aren't.
It is truly difficult for us to accept any responsibility, but let's assume a staff of 20 people for a small business today with health care/med/FICA/SUTA/FUTA and small salary. The cost of this is about a million dollars today. This is probably the biggest part of the budget. $1,000 in restaurant bills is 1/10th of 1% of this amount and it costs each member 3.7 cents, comparitively, the staff cost $37 per member.
Not one person so far has asked what can we do different. Not one person has heard the words spoken.
"We do not need pointing fingers or blame casters"
A quote from Abp. Job.
#26 Daniel E. Fall on 2006-08-16 15:50
"Parts of it can be in place, not sure why they aren't."
You've speculated about some imaginary powers possessed by Archbishop Job and the MC to obtain the 2006 budget (and the previous budgets/expenses for upteen years) held in a death grip by the Treasurer and Metropolitan, yet you're unable to expand upon this single sentence paragraph of yours to figure out why the Chancery is stonewalling open finances? Come on, Daniel. Please provide one, sensible reason why they would be making the budget a church secret that they can't even share with the Synod. I'm looking for a reason other than covering up major personal embarrassment, or at worst criminal activity.
#26.1 Another Free Man in Christ on 2006-08-16 17:40
Mr. Fall, please, enough of this nonsense. If you want to pretend that this entire mess is just a budgetary crisis go right ahead, but spare the rest of us this repetitive diatribe. You have seen fit to criticise many individuals on this site who have only been seeking answers to solve the underlying problems which you sir refuse to acknowledge.
So what is your agenda? Are you just carrying water for the Metropolitan who would seemingly like to see this whole affair hushed-up and buried by focusing on budgetary and accounting issues like you?
You have previously made some intelligent suggestions for improving financial reporting, but you are now in danger of losing all credibility with your myopic, and increasingly disingenuous, preoccupation with budgetary issues, while ignoring the spiritual and ethical rot that is at the heart of the matter!
#26.2 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2006-08-16 18:51
You ask "If Job does nothing, demands nothing, but simply writes a lot of letters mostly demeaning the administration, provides no solutions, no help . . . ."
This is simply untrue. Please read the June 2005 Midwest resolution calling for a clear and thorough presentation of the financial records at the AAC. Please also read the December 17, 2005 letter specifically calling for an independent audit and appointment of a Synodal Commission of at least three hierarchs. Please read the sermon that calls on us to meditate on Christ's words and actions and to "contemplate and confront" reality, take "drastic measures", accept responsibility, and "direct our energies" to the work to which each of us has been called. Consider that the current letter is addressed to his clergy and that it requests that everyone prepare to discuss the issues at the diocesan assembly so that "we will act ultimately as a Diocesan Church with oneness of mind."
Archbishop Job has made specific requests. If he has not come up with a longer list of specific demands and solutions, perhaps it is because he does not think he has all the answers. On the contrary, he seems keen on soliciting input and calling on everyone to make suggestions and exercise their gifts for the good of the Church. Isn't that a healthy thing?
#26.3 Robert Vasilios Wachter on 2006-08-17 08:40
Thank you Robert for reminding me of the Abps. request in June of 2005. A remedial action may have been the termination of Fr. Kondratick. Another remedial action to the other request is that audits are underway.
Those are clear and objective requests. I had trouble seeing one in the last letter. An obvious problem is the Synod doesn't work together, perhaps the Metropolitan is pushing a change there too.
The Synod is not guiltless. Remember they considered the matter closed some time ago. I'm not on a headhunt, though. Just want to get the ship righted. I think Fr. Reeves comments below also point to why I'm confused about the big hop on Abp. Job's bandwagon. I agree he could probably run a lean ship for the OCA, but you can lean an engine out to fail pretty easy.
Let's make sure the budgets are reasonable. Meet the 2006 ordinary operating deficit if there is one, and then the Synod and MC should work together to approve a budget delivery for 2007 by the end of this year.
#26.3.1 Daniel E. Fall on 2006-08-18 12:52
With regard to the former Chancellor's outright refusal to share any further financial documentation requested by the Diocese of the Midwest prior to the last All American Council, wasn't one the prominent layperson's of this said Diocese appointed as a member of the Pre-Concillar Commission?
If memory serves me correct, wasn't Dr. Alice Woog as well as others very involved with the planning of this last Council?
If so, I am very confused as to why perhaps she wasn't more vocal in demanding additional financial information from the Chancellor, especially if she was an assessment paying member of the Diocese of the Midwest?
You know Robert, it's so easy to crucify those who are attempting to correct the misdeeds of evil and make them out to be the culprits, but those of the 'free Diocese of the Midwest" had one of their own extremely involved with the planning of this last Council.
Has anyone dared ask her and others, you knew we wanted more information, you are one of us, why didn't you step in and help us out?
#26.3.2 Anonymous on 2006-08-21 11:03
You have to keep in mind that there are certain people who are part of the "in crowd", even some people in the Diocese of the Midwest. It's a little naive to think that every person in the DOM is in agreement.
#22.214.171.124 Priest of the Diocese of the Midwest on 2006-08-24 13:07
Truth in advertising: I'm Orthodox, but not OCA
Well, well, well...
I was ready to stick a fork in the OCA. Done. Finished. Eighteen months and we'll see the membership peel off to either ROCOR or the Antiochians with a smattering left for the other jurisdictions to lap up.
And now Vladyka JOB has come up with this, which may have just saved OCA's existence.
Vladyka JOB is now, for the sake of truth, squaring off against a synod and central administration widely seen as corrupt. People, if you can't line up behind that, you ain't got a pulse or a conscience.
You read the letter - there's a Lesser Synod meeting next month and the diocesan assembly in October. Don't leave this hierarch twisting in the wind - when his brother hierarchs look him in the eye, they should also see - and hear - you right behind him.
If you get behind Vladyka JOB, he'll probably look like George Washington. If you don't, he'll probably look like Don Quixote.
#27 Wayne Matthew Syvinski on 2006-08-16 22:32
What a great ending line Matthew! LOL. You put the entire situation very succinctly. There is not much else to say.
#27.1 Rich on 2006-08-17 07:15
Somewhere between Washington and Quixote, we have an Archbishop who admits that he has copies of a tape of alleged wrong doing. He is being neither mythic nor quixotic, merely belatedly forthcoming.
At the last meeting of the Metropolitan Council, existence of a tape with damaging evidence on it was admitted to. Let's stop the song and dance.
What is on the tape?
Has the Metropolitan seen the tape?
When did he see the tape?
What did he choose to do once he saw the tape?
Have other members of the Holy Synod seen the tape?
If so, what did they choose to do?
Has Proskauer-Rose seen the tape?
Has the FBI seen the tape?
Has the NY State Attorney General seen the tape?
What does Abp Job hope to accomplish by publicly admitting that copies of the tape are in his possession?
Is the Abp concerned that the "church's attorneys" are attempting to sweep this tape under the rug?
If the Holy Synod in general, or any members in particular, saw this tape prior to the public airing of Dn Wheeler's allegations last October, that is prior to the Holy Synod's declaring this matter closed, and chose to do nothing, then any and all of those persons must resign or be indicted as accessories after the fact.
Clean house or God will surely close this house!
#27.2 Fr John Reeves on 2006-08-17 14:36
Thank you Fr. John Reeves, for being frank and not letting politics enter this mess!
Now we have two bishops that say they have seen the tapes of wrong doing! Have they seen what is on the tapes?
Reveal what is on the tapes! Let's get this MESS over with now!
To rebuild the OCA we will need to truck all of the QUICK SAND to the garbage dump and replace it with the sand that CHRIST and his followers walked. When the APOSTLES followed CHRIST, there were no back slappers or anyone praising any man. CHRIST SAID FOLLOW ME, and this is what we should do NOW.
Saint James- Brother of the Lord
Kansas City, MO.
First, thank you, Your Grace for reassuring me that my diocese is administered by a capable hand and heart. I would not presume to ascribe your actions to Scripture, but I dearly appreciate your common sense and clear actions.
I am fortunate to enjoy the freedom and opportunity to practice my faith in a loving community with all of the associated joys of sacramental life for myself, my children, grandchildren and dear friends. My only desire is to continue in that manner and to somehow perpetuate the existance and growth of my Church.
I have made a few painful attempts to read through the postings on OCAnews.org, and although I have a faint grasp of some of the issues, most of the details still mystify me. But, by doing some simple arithmetic, the dollars and cents involved seem petty compared to the loss of confidence that is being forced upon the lay body of our Church through a clear lack of leadership and demonstration of autocratic rule.
At a time when we most need to clearly understand and emulate Christ, I see a number of Bishops, priests and would be lawyers, accountants and investigators spreading bovine feces at the national level. The lack of leadership and openess is disturbing to me as a child of Russian immigrants fleeing the Soviet State.
If misappropriation and/or mismanagement of funds is the crux of this issue, then I fully support the wise stewardship to withholding money from Syosset, while I whole heartedly oppose a cessation of giving to my Church. But, it is so much more...
I will ferverently pray that each and every player (Heirarchs, Priests and laity) in this fiasco can find the courage to address what has happened in an open forum and move on to the REAL WORK of our Church, SALVATION.
May God Bless us all,
Kansas City, MO
#28 Alex Kreicbergs on 2006-08-17 08:31
I don't see one good reason why the 2006 budget isn't out there. It doesn't have to include cleaning up prior years messes. It doesn't have to have any financial reporting against it (but should at this time of the year). I just want to see the ordinary budget and understand its deficit.
As for corruption, I'm betting the greatest corrupt practice has been giving to the Seminaries. How does the seminary meet a 3.4M budget? Could the OCA have been donating to it? Not saying it would have been right, but it could have contributed to the problems.
I'm disappointed that we all so quickly move to blame instead of asking whether we have done enough. Trouble is, we don't even know.
What is so difficult about the MC or Synod asking for the 2006 ordinary operating budget to be reported and to address a deficit if there is one?
If the administration won't meet the request without the attorneys giving a reason; I've said it simply, fire all of them.
I don't see that as a credibility gap on my part, nor am I carrying water for MH.
The MC and the Synod and the administration need to determine a course of action if it is a deficit budget. This is an appeal or a planned reduction in expenses for 2007, or a combination.
Frankly, I don't think the administration is evil, I think they are incompetant. Call me a water carrier?
All the spirituality and morality in the world won't fix a budget shortfall if budgets are reasonable. The easiest thing is to attack the budget for being unreasonable. Everyone is already doing that without seeing the budget. Give me a break. The Catholic Archdiocese of the Twin Cities has 300-350,000 members, if each member gives $9, they would equal my estimates of our national budget. If they contribute $25 each, that Archdiocese has a budget of 7.5M. If they contributed what we contribute, that Archdiocese would have a budget of about 27M just for the local archdiocese.
Is a 3M dollar budget that unreasonable? For a family of four, our national church asks for about $400 a year, or $7.70 a Sunday, less than it costs the couple to go to a movie on Friday and less than one entree at a restaurant. Only about half of that goes to the national administration, which is less than it costs to rent a movie, and only slightly more than the cost of one gallon of gas. I don't golf or ski, but I'm betting golfing or skiing costs much more than an OCA membership.
I don't believe I have personally done enough, but I won't do more without budgets and reporting against them. And the administration should pack its bags if it won't meet something so simple.
#29 Daniel E. Fall on 2006-08-17 11:07
Daniel, you are the most naive person on the planet if you think the money has been going to the seminaries. Are you not aware that criminal activity has taken place? Even if you aren't aware of that, do you think for a minute that if the money had been going to the seminaries they would have just told us? At the last MC meeting the auditor said he didn't know where the money went and there were no receipts.
Do you think the OCA would have hired a big-wig law firm specializing in keeping non-profits out of legal trouble if the money had gone to the SEMINARIES? Give me a break, shesh, snort and all that stuff.
#29.1 Linda Weir on 2006-08-18 08:10
"most naive ... on the planet" ??
Nope. You missed the point Linda. Even if the money went to the Seminary, still wasn't right if it wasn't budgeted.
That is the point.
#29.1.1 Daniel E. Fall on 2006-08-18 19:03
Fr. Reeves. Thank you. I don't understand how Abp. Job is so quickly abdicated, nor how people seem to think so. I thought maybe I was the only one expressing any confusion over Job's letter. If the budget is so out of whack as we've been told, why can't the MC say so and the Synod modify it? If Abp. Job is crediting the administration, can he support that by saying he asked for something and they failed to meet the request?
At least I'm not alone in my disappointments. Before we go looking to hang Fr. Kondratick, we better all hope they had some big wrongdoings going on, otherwise, a 1.7M deficit will go with all of us to Hades for our condemnation of all of them.
As for the tape, another thing I just don't get, but now not just from the administration. Further, on the tape, if Fr. Kondratick asked for money to be returned, there probably is no criminal culpability in that act. I can ask anyone for money and there is no law against it.
#30 Daniel E. Fall on 2006-08-17 21:14
I'm beginning to wonder if the good people and parishes of the OCA should just simply leave the OCA, appoint Archbishop JOB as Primate, and then elect a Synod of Bishops who are clean.
I've read suggestions about people going to either ROCOR or the Antiochians. Neither are a good option. ROCOR has had more than its share of scandal. The Antiochians in America have a leader who is not a good shepherd.
#31 Mark on 2006-08-18 09:40
1. Don't you guys in the Midwest think you should be a little bit less exuberant? An All-Church coup d'etat in favor of the Archbishop of Chicago and the Diocese of the Midwest? Have you asked His Eminence what he might think of that one?
2. Although the OCA has significant problems in the home office, locally - where it matters most - Orthodoxy is thriving. But the local Orthodox, as reflected even in the comments of luminaries like Archbishop Job and Father Thomas Hopko, want to see some progress in the faith, not just progress in the investigation.
3. Think about this. The post-scandal era for the OCA will have some issues we can start working on now. What would you think about using your website as the vehicle?
#31.1 Mark Warns on 2006-08-18 20:44
I'm actually from Texas and not from the Midwest! I've never met nor even seen Archbishop +JOB! I've simply read his writings over the last few months on this website and elsewhere and have been very impressed with them.
I think you would be surprised to learn that most OCA faithful here in Texas seem to share my admiration for Archbishop +JOB's leadership.
I also travel on business and have attened OCA parishes at various areas around the USA, and even in Canada. It's the same story there also.
Archbishop +JOB seems to have emerged as THE most respected, trusted, and admired member of the OCA's Holy Synod.
I began my comments with "I'm beginning to wonder.." I was just thinking out loud what I'm starting to feel. I'm not advocating anything like a coup.
It's not the scandal that hurts the most -- It's the coverup by the Primate and most of the Holy Synod that hurts the most.
If the Metropolitan's see became vacant in the near future, my guess is that the election would see Archbishop +JOB elected on the first ballot by 2/3 majority or more. Unfortunately, the Holy Synod would probably overrule it in favor of another "yes man."
#31.1.1 Mark on 2006-08-25 11:52
And who is arbitror of the "good?"
You don't abandon your family in trouble and turmoil. You take the harder path of restoration. It will never be perfect, it will always be broken... but it is our duty to save each other.
Don't let the "fix" be worst than the original problem.
#31.2 Alex Kreicbergs on 2006-08-19 10:12
As I read the comments here I am struck by those that criticise His Eminence, Archbishop JOB in the light of the 20th century history of the Russian Church, both 'in the homeland' and 'scattered abroad,' and of the present reconcilation that is taking place within the Russian Church. This reconcilation is taking place in part because His Holiness, Patriarch ALEXEI, began to admit (as I heard him say with my own ears), "there were mistakes, and we are sorry." Then, after several years, as it was obvious that the Patriarch was acting for the good of the Church, whatever he may have done before, the leaders of ROCOR began to take notice. Since 2001 there has been a period of repentance on BOTH sides.
His Eminence accuses himself of 'incompetence.' I don't know any of the details, but this sounds a little harsh to me; perhaps, however, he knows that he failed in areas where he could have done better. In any case, Vladyka JOB is taking responsibility for his own actions, and is taking a step forward. So far, he is the only hierarch in the entire OCA who has not only not simply gone along with everything, but has spoken out and put his own neck on the line. The last hierarch who put his neck on the line was Bishop INNOCENT of Alaska, and he is not only no longer ruling hierarch, he is not even alive, and I have even heard it said that in some places it is not permitted to serve a Panikhida for him! That is sacrifcing more than anybody should have to sacrifice.
Vladyka JOB is putting a lot on the line. It sounds like he is quite aware that he too may face questions, if nothing else about why he didn't take action long before. He asks for prayers and for friendship. I have only had a few occaions on which I have spoken with Vladyka JOB, but I know others who hold him in very high esteem. I remember the lament in the Diocese of New England when he was transferred to the Diocese of Chicago. He has a reputation for being a true shepherd in Christ. Unless somebody can prove otherwise, I am inclined take His Eminence at his word and to forgive whatever he may have done in the past and offer my heartfelt prayers for 'the works of his hands.'
#32 Anelevtherios on 2006-08-19 21:29
Why is Vladyka +JOB the only one we are hearing from? Where are the rest of them? And what does that have to SAY about the rest of them?
#33 Philippa on 2006-08-21 17:44
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